Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Syrian Military Booby-Traps Ammunition Supplies

New York Times correspondent C.J. Chivers reports from Syria on government attempts to seed the black market with altered ammunition as an attempt to maim and kill rebel soldiers.

Syrians Place Booby-Trapped Ammunition in Rebels’ Guns -- New York Times

DEIR SONBUL, Syria — The government of Syria, trying to contain a rapidly expanding insurgency, has resorted to one of the dirty tricks of the modern battlefield: salting ammunition supplies of antigovernment fighters with ordnance that explodes inside rebels’ weapons, often wounding and sometimes killing the fighters while destroying many of their hard-found arms.

The practice, which rebels said started in Syria early this year, is another element of the government’s struggle to combat the opposition as Syria’s military finds itself challenged across a country where it was not long ago an uncontested force. The government controls the skies, and with aircraft and artillery batteries it has pounded many rebel strongholds throughout this year. But the rebels continue to resist, mostly with small arms.

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My Comment: For a rebel army that is dependent on seized government stockpiles, this is a terrible predicament. But with little alternatives, I suspect that more rebel fighters will be killed and maimed as the conflict continues.

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